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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Shopping Is Exercise

Why are Singaporean women so slim? Why do people feel so exhausted after a day of shopping?

These may seem like two unrelated observations, but Fresh Brainz has just discovered an interesting link between them!

Shopping is a form of exercise!

OK that isn't news. Walking directly to the store and back is a mild form of exercise, but you can't burn many calories that way.

That's true.

However, that's not what people usually mean by "shopping".

I'll show you what I mean.

Here is a satellite photo of Orchard Road taken off Google Earth. I've used the "measure" tool to show you a hypothetical (but entirely possible!) path taken by a shopper as she starts her shopping adventure from the Orchard MRT station.

She checks out a bookstore and strolls through five shopping centres before taking a break at a cafe. Within this few-hundred-metre stretch of road, she has clocked an amazing 3.75 kilometres!

If you visit many stores during your shopping journey, you are actually walking a much longer distance than it first appears.

That somehow reminds me of fractals, and how Benoit Mandelbrot tried to measure the coastline of Britain with smaller and smaller rulers.

But that's too far off topic. Let's get back to our hardworking shopper.

You can estimate the calories she burned using an online calculator at this website.

For example, if she weighs 50 kg and took one hour to finish her shopping, then she burned 156 calories.

That's equivalent to jogging for 20 minutes.

Not bad at all.

In addition, if she bought a lot of stuff along the way, carrying all that additional weight helps to burn even more calories. So, the more you shop, the better the exercise!

Now I know why I haven't met a fat Tai-Tai.

Not one.


mathia -- one of the many who do the 40km orchard road march routinely said...

Ummm you haven't factored in the high heel shoes have you? I mean, i'm sure you burn alot more from calf muscles alone if you do 4Km on TIP TOE. And what about the thinking and deciding and chatting? Brain power burns calories. Then you have to cover the distance you calculated twice over, cos she has to change her mind and go back. Actually, if she walks an average rate of 4km/hr and shops from 11am to 10pm, with 2 hrs meal breaks, that's nearly 40km covered..... plus the increasing weight of shopping backs, all on tip toe.... Its arguable if the NS road marches can rival female shopping....

Patty said...

It's brilliant! What a great way to lose weight.